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Applied systems-thinking support network
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Leaders of organisations and large projects face complex, difficult challenges.  Personal and organisational risks are constant companions.  


Such risks are systemic, emergent and often wicked.  They cannot safely be tackled alone, or just using prior experience. 


An expert friend with applied systems thinking capabilities will always enable new insights, new options and better decisions. 

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Applied systems thinking

Applied systems thinking is a way of thinking and working effectively on complex challenges such as those faced by leaders of human organisations:

  • Applied.   Leaders work in the real world.  Academic insights and understanding about complex systems are useful but they are not enough.  Real leaders need real methods and tools that can be used by any competent leaders, in the time and within the resources available.  Practical, real, useful and timely.

  • Systems.  There is no room for debate.  Human organisations are systems and they are inherently complex.  Processes, controls and boundaries have a place in all organisations as part of larger system(s), but they do not enable best-possible outcomes over time.   Leaders need to focus on and to influence the capability and adaptiveness of their organisations as systems.

  • Thinking.  Systems thinking is a way of thinking, before it can be a way of working.  Some leaders struggle to move from a reductionist (non-systems) mindset.  Others are much further on this journey and see the world (and their options) through a more fluid, emergent lens.  This can feel overwhelming – but it also makes genuine transformation in performance possible.

Trusted applied systems thinking support network

A trusted expert support network can extend the capability of yourself and your organisational almost without limit:

  • Trusted.   Working together on complex challenges requires shared skin in the game and mutual trust.   Real trust involves building relationships, and systems thinking provides a strong foundation for this to occur.  Systems thinkers understand that we are all linked and that success is greatest when working in genuine partnership, transparently and with honest intent.

  • Expert.   By its nature, expertise in applied systems thinking is a combination of diverse experience, conceptional understanding and the skills and wisdom required to do practical work in complexity.  Such expertise cannot just be theoretical, nor experiential.  It requires an ability to bring the two together in practical, real ways. 

  • Support.  In complex environments, support must be collaborative, partnering.   It would be both unethical and ineffective for any expert to seek to ‘control’ what a leader thinks or does.  Instead there must be a shared journey, where the expert is accountable to the leader(s) to ‘enable but not direct’.   Effective partnering also involves the trust expert(s) having significant ‘skin in the game’.  Transparency and openness must be high (see Trust, above).

  • Network.  A single expert may be very helpful as a partner.  An expert who is connected to a large, diverse network of other capable people can enable greater value.   Even more can be achieved through an expert who acts as a catalyst for leaders themselves to have direct access to the larger applied systems thinking network and community.

RiskIQ provides access to applied systems thinking capability – local and worldwide

RiskIQ has been bridging the gap between applied systems thinking theory and practice for over 20 years.   It is why we exist.

We started this journey as senior leaders ourselves, in a variety of roles.  That’s how we discovered that traditional management thinking and practices don’t deal well with complex challenges.  We became disillusioned – and frustrated – a experiencing cycles of change that did not really change anything and crises that could have been avoided.

Since then:

  • we work in academia, ensuring we remain connected with thinking and theory.

  • we collaborate with like-minded organisations to conduct deliberate empirical research, to test and expand, and hence understand what is possible.

  • RiskIQ also continues to develop new practical (applied) tools and techniques, useable by almost any leader at any level of management. 

  • ….  and of course we continue to get our hands dirty, working with leaders at all levels in all kinds and sizes of organisations.  That’s how we really stay in touch.

Our applied systems-thinking network is large, diverse and fluid … and you can shape your interaction with it to best suit your needs.

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Like the idea of having access to a large community with a shared interest in applied systems thinking?

Contact us for an obligation free initial consultation 
about your interests, needs and concerns.

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